The Tales of Hoffmann
German Romanticist E.T.A. Hoffmann and his rival Councillor Lindorf visit the theatre in Nürnberg, where they both hope to meet Stella, the prima ballerina performing The Enchanted Butterfly. When Lindorf intercepts a token from Stella intended for Hoffmann, the poet retires to a nearby tavern, orders a drink and recounts three stories of romantic misadventure to the rowdy student clientele.
Moving from the fashionable boutiques of Paris to bacchanalian orgies in a nightmarish Venice, and from the naiveté of youth to the weight of experience, Hoffmann's stories combine to form three facets of their narrator's evolving struggle with true love.